Understanding Cushings Disease

Thursday, 18th February 2016

UNDERSTANDING CUSHINGS DISEASE & SYNDROME IN DOGS and HORSES.

These are conditions where excessive amounts of glucocorticoids are produced. Strictly speaking Cushing’s Disease is where a pituitary tumour stimulates an increased output of hormones from the adrenal cortex whilst Cushings Syndrome is where this occurs without a pituitary tumour but the symptoms are identical. These conditions are very rare in cats.

SYMPTOMS

These include polydipsia (excessive thirst and drinking) polyuria (excessive urine production) and increased appetite. Later signs are muscle wasting and weakness, a distended gut and patchy loss of hair.

DIAGNOSIS

This is usually by means of an ACTH stimulation test before treatment and repeated at regular intervals during treatment. Dogs should be monitored regularly for liver and kidney function and diabetes.

TREATMENT

Dogs are usually treated with Trilostane and horses with Pergolide. Other drugs such as Ketoconazole, Cyproheptadine and Bromocryptine have been used but are not licensed for this purpose. Surgery has also been used.

SIDE-EFFECTS

Dogs treated with Trilostane may become lethargic, lose appetite or have diarrhoea or vomiting. If this occurs treatment should be stopped and the prescriber consulted at once.

NB Trilostane capsules should not be used in pregnant animals or any intended for breeding. They should NOT be handled by pregnant women or those trying to become pregnant.

Horses treated with Pergolide (Prascend) may suffer mild depression, unsteadiness, diarrhoea or colic and it is usual to stop treatment for a short time and then resume at a lower level. Pergolide is not for use in horses less than two years old or intended for human consumption.

All the treatments mentioned in this article require diagnosis and prescription by a veterinary surgeon and can be dispensed by the HYPERDRUG PHARMACY at highly competitive prices.

UNDERSTANDING ADDISON’S DISEASE IN DOGS AND CATS

This results in a deficiency of both glucocorticoids and mineralcorticoids being produced.

SYMPTOMS

These include loss of appetite, lethargy, depression and from time to time weakness, vomiting and diarrhoea.

TREATMENT

This is almost always by administration of a mineralcorticoid drug FLUDROCORTISONE although occasionally a glucocorticoid such as PREDNISOLONE may be given too especially before stressful events such as general anaesthetics and surgery.

All the treatments mentioned in this article require diagnosis and prescription by a veterinary surgeon and can be dispensed by the HYPERDRUG PHARMACY at highly competitive prices.